President Robert Mugabe and Zanu (PF) have been on an over-drive demanding that fresh polls, to bring closure to the coalition government, be staged this year with or without a new constitution.
But information emerging from Zuma’s office in Pretoria indicates the South African leader is sticking to his guns that apart from an agreed elections roadmap between Zanu (PF) and the two formations of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Zimbabwe should go to the next polls under a new constitution crafted by the three political parties signatory to the Global Political Agreement (GPA).
Zuma international affairs advisor, Lindiwe Zulu, said in an telephone interview, Zuma and SADC, the guarantor of the GPA together with the African Union, were insisting that the election roadmap be followed despite the noise from Zanu (PF) quarters.
“The facilitator has said that there is a roadmap that was signed off by the principals and this should be followed. Conditions for free and fair elections must be met first before any election,” Zulu told Radio VOP.
“We cannot be the ones to determine when Zimbabwe goes for elections but there is a roadmap. SADC has taken a position that a conducive environment must be attained first for elections to take place,” said Zulu.
The elections roadmap defines milestones and signposts that must be executed and implemented before the next election.
These milestones and signposts include the lifting of sanctions, the constitutional process, media reform, electoral reform, rule of law, freedom of association and assembly, legislative agenda and the actual election.
Asked about Zuma failure to visit Zimbabwe to deal with the political impasse in the coalition government, Zulu blamed delays on undertaking a tour of duty to Harare to “a busy schedule.”
She denied speculation that Zuma’s mediation was in limbo.
“There is no way it is in limbo. Mediation efforts are continuing. The facilitation team will come to Zimbabwe soon. We have all been travelling. We will come after their visit to the EU,” said Zulu referring to the recent European Union visit by a team from Zimbabwe appointed to lobby for the lifting of sanctions.
“Secondly, mediation cannot be in limbo because the principals are talking. What the facilitator is expecting is that the principals must be working on a day to day basis. We are in constant touch with the principals,” added Zulu.